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    #11
    Senior Member Sunk99's Avatar
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    Jam by Pete Barry

    Overall: 7
    Plot: 6
    Characters: 8
    Dialogue: 9
    Theme:
    Structure: 7
    Originality: 8
    Style/Quality of Writing: 7
    Entertainment Value: 7
    Cinematic Quality: 8

    Synopsis: A man stuck in a traffic jam due to a truck rollover picks up cell & military radio over his analog car radio.
    He listens and finally hears the military has found a bomb on the truck so he runs. For some reason the military
    shoots him and the bomb, possible nuclear, kills everyone.

    Comments:
    Pg 1
    LATE (V.O.)
    ***Using a name like this just confuses the reader. Give them a name.
    ***Love the opening visuals
    Pg 2
    ***Whoa. I can get that spew of different conversations on paper - film?
    ***There needs to be breaks between - static, or overlaps. Else we think it is a garbled single conversation.
    All of their calls are pouring simultaneously out of his radio.
    ***No need to tell - it's evident.
    Pg 3
    I LOVE this sniper twist.
    Pg 5
    ***You had me intrigued, but then you shot the main character and left us hanging.
    ***A nuke went off, killing the sniper as well? I really enjoyed the story but the huge
    plot holes at the end leave me demanding to know more. No explanation as to why they were shooting at him?
    Did I miss something? Re-reading.
    ***How would they know his analog radio is on 610?
    ***Yes I did miss the Swat guy looking over a bomb on the truck. Should have been a military tanker.
    Else why are they looking for a bomb on a wrecked truck? Also this was all VO. There was no visual to
    lock in the bomb. I suggest giving us that visual. That would explain the bomb. Now why are they shooting
    at Ray? Why did they single him out? Might twist in there that they are looking for a button pusher and
    see how Ray is reacting/acting. Excellent story potential if plot holes are plugged.
    ***By the way - I never got trapped so I lowered the overall a point.


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    #12
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    Didn't quite understand this. Like others have said, the randomness of the bomb and the sniper mostly.

    I wasn't really a fan of the whole phone sex thing either. Way too extreme. I have a hard time imagining people doing that in a traffic jam.

    All in all, I'm not quite sure what happened but the writing was pretty good(minus the military jargon; i hate military jargon) and easy to read.

    Interesting idea. I just don't know it's intention.


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    #13
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Right - this is a peculiar one really! First of all it demands a level of production value that makes the script almost impossible to produce (that will automatically negate it) in the eyes of some, - now I was thinking while i read it - all the work arounds. Well it could be shot like this or done like that to hide this but finally i gave up - this is like a kind of Michael Bay inspired blockbuster short - BUT....

    It is a very confused Michael Bay inspired (or should i say looking short) as it feels much more complimentary like a twilight zone episode (at least it does when its working.) I loved the radio hops, and i thought the sexiness was fine too - it helped to evoke plainly the voyeuristic quality of what the character was finding.

    The sniper was intriguing - the bomb was intriguing but... BUT - it made NO GODDAMN SENSE! I mean I went over it in my head and thought - what would an audience sitting in front of this lavishly produced short film make of all these things. Well... it would feel a bit like a promo to 'insert' any of JJ Abrams next tv series perhaps but says nothing as a short film for what the story is actually about.

    Its actually almost too well written for it to be that clumsy (or sorry, feel that clumsy, it is just imo) for the story to meander like that. So i'd just suggest, finding a way to tie it up - because while some stories succeed in leaving us with a pontificative linger - they do require the expression of an intellectual or metaphorical point etc. This script has no pretention of doing that - so it really needs that more common and obvious plot resolution...

    An example, (and by no means a good example) would be the dude in the car being the one who planted the bomb ie. linking him to the incident (in a way the audience doesnt realise) but which we come to realise as the security forces try to prevent it exploding. If this is supposed to be there (as an idea or theme) then bro, this script ain't tarkosvsky its action/mystery genre, it needs to be more clear (imo!)

    In anycase i like the set up and impending momentum just hope you work on it a bit more - and try to consider who the heck can actually produce and shoot it (if its a short - then nobody with money hehe)
    Last edited by lawriejaffa; 02-09-2012 at 02:57 PM.
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    #14
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Notes:
    - I just got sucked it. What a great concept and very Twilight Zonish, so a fave for me.
    - That would be hard to see , the dial that is, so they must have some high-powered equipment.

    WHAT!!! I was just getting really into yhis and then you went and rushed through the ending! I'd like to see this move on. This could be the next trapped blockbuster. And unlike Lawrie I think this could get filmed, You just need to find a backwoods interchange and park a bunch of cars. Sure it kind of looks like you set up a fake traffic jam, but if the big guys can do it so can....ok no one is going to do this for a short, but write this out as feature and no one will through a fit over the traffic jam. Great concept!
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
    ______________________________________________
    Samurai ScriptFest: A Dream of Electric Revolution (1st Place)
    Suspense ScriptFest: A Clockwork Darkened(2nd Place)
    Trapped ScriptFest: Trapped (3rd Place)


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    #15
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Yep ill agree to disagree on the production value Chris-babes (i think it needs a big road/lotta cars) to make it feel like a real 'jam' - almost um (freeway? is that right? the US equivelant of a UK motorway hehe) and all of that for a short? I can't see it BUT!!!!

    I agree with you about it getting further developed for something more like a feature, and would like to add my suggestion that in such a scenario (that kinda production value) becomes more realistic (its just for a short it makes no sense to me.) As a feature that and the story could be expanded (so that the rushed ending) is sorted too. Like yourself Chris i really got into this too - the first 2 thirds rock imo.
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    #16
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Unlike the rest of the darn world we do have highway sized roads that don't have crap for traffic that you could get blocked for shooting. But you are right no one would go through the hassle for a short. A feature no problem.
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
    ______________________________________________
    Samurai ScriptFest: A Dream of Electric Revolution (1st Place)
    Suspense ScriptFest: A Clockwork Darkened(2nd Place)
    Trapped ScriptFest: Trapped (3rd Place)


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    #17
    Senior Member Bill Clar's Avatar
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    "All of their calls are pouring simultaneously out of his radio." I would omit this line. Let the reader and viewer surmise this for themselves.

    I love the tension when Ray realizes he's been made.

    Great story. Very interesting and original.
    So, you hate your job? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYONE. We meet at the bar at 5:00.


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    #18
    Member DarrenJSeeley's Avatar
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    An interesting concept. I'm a bit skeptical of the Trapped theme (although an unseen sniper -good or bad- shooting at random drivers could have been milked) but, the bomb going off in your short feels anti-climactic to me, and it also rings false. Imagine this: what if your protag was the only one who could hear the "government" attempting to clean up the accident and there was the bomb somewhere up ahead on the road? Given the timing of when it goes off, the question of why would the sniper even bother to kill the protagonist comes to mind very quickly after the read. What difference does it make? Discovery is all but a moot point. What possible threat can he pose?

    The concept doesn't fall apart but the story does. But what I will suggest will come close to what I think you had in mind, and, in addition, would take out a good chunk of those possible production problems those above mentioned. One rewrite is all it would take, and you would need to alter only a few minor things. The biggest drop would be the ending..

    Remember Speed? There was a bomb on the bus and nobody knew about it in the first half of the film? But the filmmakers let the audience in on that knowledge, and had a lot of crazy gags, close calls and suspense around it even before Keanu got aboard.

    What if :

    1 - there was the bomb hidden in the car without your protag's knowledge,

    2- the radio interference is affected by it at a certian time, and that it could go off if he opened the door again.

    3- If the government called the drivers around him and asked them to leave their cars....

    4- If he used his own cell phone it could set off the bomb.

    5- The government agents think he's a bad guy at first - you can keep the sniper - but the sniper doesn't fire.

    6- He convinces the feds he's not a bad guy. They walk him through how to dismantle and/or find the bomb.

    If you would do something like that, you would:

    - save the money on extras
    - save the money on gunfire effects
    - save money on showing a huge explosion

    - increase tension
    - increase anticipation
    - not lose the trapped theme but make it stronger
    - not lose the story focus, as it lessens confusion because the biggest confusion now isn't the 'Twilight Zone' aspect of the story, but the confusion of it (again, if a bomb goes off in a few minutes and you don't want people to panic, but you're going to shoot an innconent person who could warn people, even if it is at the last minute, or give him a chance, if nothing else, to save himself? It's not heroic, but it is one less casualty)

    It's a very good effort that fails the challenge in the current form. He's not trapped, nobody is. They are just all doomed.
    Last edited by DarrenJSeeley; 02-26-2012 at 10:03 PM.


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    #19
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    Very well-written, but the story fell apart after the commando and his friend were introduced. I would have liked to have seen the story about the man listening in on this girl's conversation... or maybe I'm just a perv and wanted to hear the rest of that conversation. <grin> Nah, but it felt like the guy she was talking to (who was asking what she was wearing) was some kind of creep and he was going to start getting weird and creeping her out and then the MC would do something. I dunno, I just lost a little interest when it turned to commandos and swat teams and bombs. Like I said, though, the writing was excellent and flowed smoothly.

    -JMT
    "Trying to make a movie in Hollywood is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it." - Douglas Adams


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